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Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Updated: 3 hours 34 min ago

Cassini spacecraft dives between Saturn and its rings

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 9:29am
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is back in contact with Earth after its successful first-ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017.

Using math to investigate possibility of time travel

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 9:17am
After some serious number crunching, a researcher says that he has come up with a mathematical model for a viable time machine: a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS). He describes it as a bubble of space-time geometry which carries its contents backward and forwards through space and time as it tours a large circular path. The bubble moves through space-time at speeds greater than the speed of light at times, allowing it to move backward in time.

Scientists propose mechanism to describe solar eruptions of all sizes

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 1:09pm
From long jets to massive explosions of solar material and energy, eruptions on the sun come in many shapes and sizes. Scientists now propose that a universal mechanism can explain the whole spectrum of solar eruptions.

Cassini's first grand finale dive: Milestones

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 12:46pm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to make its first dive through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017.

'Iceball' planet discovered through microlensing

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 12:24pm
Scientists have discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. The planet is likely far too cold to be habitable for life as we know it, however, because its star is so faint. But the discovery adds to scientists' understanding of the types of planetary systems that exist beyond our own.

'Ageless' silicon throughout Milky Way may indicate a well-mixed galaxy

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 11:31am
New surveys of the element silicon may mean that the Milky Way is more efficient at mixing its contents than previously thought, thereby masking the telltale signs of chemical aging.

Jupiter and the theory of relativity gets the blame for celestial bodies changing course

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 10:22am
In the case of solar system bodies passing close to the sun, there are two important effects playing a crucial role in the orbital evolution. One of the effects is from the general relativity and the other effect is from Newtonian theory of gravitation.

Cassini completes final -- and fateful -- Titan flyby: Dive to Saturn next

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 5:28pm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has had its last close brush with Saturn's hazy moon Titan and is now beginning its final set of 22 orbits around the ringed planet.

Lull in Mars' giant impact history

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 10:25am
From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history.

NASA's Cassini, Voyager missions suggest new picture of Sun's interaction with galaxy

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 2:12pm
New data from three NASA missions show that the heliosphere -- the bubble of the Sun's magnetic influence that surrounds the inner solar system -- may be much more compact and rounded than previously thought.

In experiments on Earth, testing possible building blocks of alien life

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 8:40am
Extraterrestrial life, if it exists, could use different amino acid building blocks than living things here on Earth. To better understand what alien life might look like, researchers are studying which amino acids stand up to the types of extreme conditions found on other planets and moons.

Hubble's cosmic bubbles

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 11:32am
Hubble has revealed a few of the tenuous threads comprising Sh2-308, a faint and wispy shell of gas located 5,200 light-years away in Canis Major.

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 2:17pm
Astronomers have detected for the first time multiple images from a gravitationally lensed Type Ia supernova. The new observations suggest promising new avenues for the study of the accelerated expansion of the universe, gravity and distribution of dark matter in the universe.

Can we see a singularity, the most extreme object in the universe?

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:37am
Scientists have found new ways to detect a bare or naked singularity, the most extreme object in the universe. This finding has possible astrophysical implications.

Hubble celebrates 27 years with two close friends

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:37am
This stunning cosmic pairing of the two very different looking spiral galaxies NGC 4302 and NGC 4298 was imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The image brilliantly captures their warm stellar glow and brown, mottled patterns of dust.

Astronomers perform largest-ever survey of high-mass binary star systems

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 9:02am
82 new high-mass binaries located in the Tarantula Nebula, also known as 30 Doradus, have been identified and characterized in the Large Magellanic Cloud, an international group of astronomers reports.

Living with a star: NASA and partners survey space weather science

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 9:02am
Storms from the sun can affect our power grids, railway systems and underground pipelines. Now scientists and engineers from NASA have assessed the state of science surrounding space weather.

Newly discovered exoplanet may be best candidate in search for signs of life

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 1:17pm
An exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth may be the new holder of the title 'best place to look for signs of life beyond the solar system.' Using ESO's HARPS instrument, and other telescopes, astronomers discovered a 'super-Earth' orbiting in the habitable zone around the star LHS 1140. This world is larger and more massive than the Earth and has likely retained most of its atmosphere. This makes it one of the most exciting targets for atmospheric studies.

Supermassive black holes stifle galaxy growth

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 11:53am
Supermassive black hole winds in a newly discovered class of galaxies are so energetic they suppress future star formation.

Milky Way: Hydrogen halo lifts the veil of our galactic home

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 11:15am
Astronomers have reported the first detections of diffuse hydrogen wafting about in a vast halo surrounding the Milky Way.